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Landscape Articles

Helping Plants Survive Times of Drought and Extreme Heat

For an environmentally conscious gardener, managing your garden during a drought is a constant battle between needing to conserve water and keeping your parched plants alive. Drought is often paired with heat waves which can further complicate keeping your garden from drying out completely.

Fortunately, many species of plants have mechanisms in place to help them survive less than ideal conditions. Between those mechanisms and a human helping hand, we can help plants survive the dry spells.

Rainwater Collection for Landscape Maintenance

Maintaining a home garden can sometimes require a significant amount of water to maintain. Of course, from time to time that’s supplemented by rainfall, but what about the rest of the time? For most people, this extra water comes from a municipal water supply, which can add up fast on the water bill. Luckily, there are ways to collect rainwater that would otherwise evaporate or seep into the ground, and use it to water your garden. Humans have been collecting and diverting rainfall for thousands of years, so why stop now?

How to Create a Rain Garden

Rain gardens are a lovely way for homeowners to help ease water problems due to storms. It is a garden, planted in a low area of your yard to catch run off water from rain. A Rain Garden can be created in 7 easy steps.

Step 1: Location, location, location.
Avoid creating your garden too close to your home because of potential flooding in your house. Choose a low spot in your yard that is in the sun.

Step 2: Determine the size
Will rain from your sidewalk or driveway drain into your garden? Measure all areas that will drain into your rain garden. Use the following guidelines to ensure the ideal size for your garden:

Soil type     Multiply by
Sandy            20%
Loam             30%
Clay               45%

Step 3: Create a Design
Use paper and pencil to sketch a unique design or layout for your garden. If design isn't your forte, consider hiring a local landscape designer to help you.

Step 4: Plants, plants, and more plants
Choose flowers and other plants that are well suited for your climate and grow well in both wet and dry areas.

Step 5: Lay it Out
Use your design to shape and form the boundaries for your garden.

Step 6: Prepare the Soil
Remove grass and dig your garden 4-8 inches deep. Mix the soil with 2-3 inches of compost.

Step 7: Plant, Mulch, and Water
Plant your flowers and grasses. Apply mulch 2-3 inches deep, using wood chips that won't float or blow away.Water your garden every other day for 2 weeks, if it doesn't rain.

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